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tracing the source and route of spam?

br1anstorm
Rising Star
Posts: 124
Thanks: 14
Registered: ‎24-06-2007

tracing the source and route of spam?

My first post in this new community forum!  With a new name, I'm a migrant from the previous, and very useful, PlusNet forum.
And guess what... the topic is (still!) spam.  But I'm not moaning:  thanks to the various PlusNet measures and options, I think I've tweaked my account to the point where it's almost spam-free.
I am however now seeking help in finding something that was posted in one of the hundreds of helpful posts in the old forum about combating spam.  Some kind and expert person posted a link to a website that one could go to in order to check if a particular message was likely to be, or known to be, spam.  The site may have been run by one of the producers of anti-spam programs, and if I recall correctly, one could check, or copy in, the IP or server-details taken from the header of suspected spam messages and get advice or a verdict.
Does this sound familiar to anyone?  I forgot to bookmark it at the time.  Can anyone give me a link, or some clues, to such a site?
br1anstorm
7 REPLIES 7
Liam
Grafter
Posts: 2,083
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

Welcome :-)
Hmm, that sounds interesting.  Not sure about message content, but there are several blacklist providers that 'blacklist' source IP addresses that are reported as sending out spam.
Some of these are :-
http://www.sorbs.net
http://www.spamhaus.org/
http://www.mail-abuse.com/
Some ISPs also run their own lists.  Blacklists are not as effective as they once were at actually blocking spam, however, due to the nature of how fast viruses and trojans can spread these days.  The majority of the spam sent on the internet now is sent by compromised PCs of innocent people who have inadvertently acquired a virus or trojan on their system.
What they are better at protecting against is spam sent via known open relays.  These are people running mail servers that will accept a mail from anywhere, and relay it.
br1anstorm
Rising Star
Posts: 124
Thanks: 14
Registered: ‎24-06-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

Thanks Liam.  I've had a quick look at two of the three sites you mention (the sorbs page won't load at present).  They don't look familiar - though they are clearly useful.
I'll trawl back through the threads in the old forum to see if I can find that link again (it was a while ago, and I can't remember any specific keyword or feature that would help me track it down).  Hope I'm not imagining things!
BTW, the reason I'm after this is because I've had a couple of emails (into one of my non-PlusNet accounts)  which claim to come from E-cards.com and from GreetingCards.com.  They are titled "You've received a postcard/greeting card from a Family member/Friend" and include a link where the "card" can be seen.
I'm suspicious (but can't entirely rule out the possibility that some distant friend or relative might have sent me something genuine).  So I haven't opened them or clicked on the links, but thought I might try to check for any website which could indicate on the basis of header info or URLs whether these types of message were dodgy.
I'm not paranoid, honest - just very wary of spam and determined to avoid any infection!
br1anstorm
Community Gaffer
Community Gaffer
Posts: 17,700
Thanks: 686
Fixes: 167
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

There is this link which shows the servers emails have travelled through.
If this post resolved your issue please click the 'This fixed my problem' button
 Chris Parr
 Plusnet Staff
lingbob
Grafter
Posts: 734
Registered: ‎05-04-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

There's also the SpamCop reporting service which can be used to check emails as well as report spam but you have to register (for free) to use it.
br1anstorm
Rising Star
Posts: 124
Thanks: 14
Registered: ‎24-06-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

Thanks Chris and lingbob... though neither is the site I remember.
More important, I've been googling for clues on those suspect messages I received from E-cards.com and GreetingCards.com.  Turns out that my concerns were well-founded:  they do indeed carry nasty infections (trojans or similar malware).  Here's one forum which discusses them:  http://purportal.com/spam/1852/
So as I mentioned the details of these messages earlier, I'm putting up this further info as a warning in case anyone else gets such emails...
br1anstorm
Richard_261
Grafter
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎02-08-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

When the new f9 spam filter first started, I had a dramatic reduction in spam. It weas great.
Today it's back to 236 spams when I got home.
Are they getting cleverer or am I getting stupider?
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 12,169
Thanks: 18
Fixes: 1
Registered: ‎04-04-2007

Re: tracing the source and route of spam?

How many spams are being caught? I still get a lot of spam coming through untagged but the volume that gets tagged and sent to my spam folder seems to be on the up as well. The spammers are always using new tricks to get around spam filters, sending an email with no content or subject or just a one word subject with a PDF seems to be the latest. Because spam filtering can't inspect the content of the PDF these can slip through untagged.
There will of course be other methods like image spam (although this seems to be on the decline of late) that again make it harder to identify spams.
It's an ongoing battle, the spammers are a clever bunch and are always finding new ways of getting their spam delivered, we and everyone else have to try and keep on top.